Every Organization Needs an Innovation Champion Essay

2382 Words May 8th, 2012 10 Pages
Every organization needs an Innovation champion. This very important role requires exceptional people skills and communication skills, and the ability to be a master consensus builder among all players in the organization. Innovation champions come in a wide range of styles of interaction. Renowned psychologist Michael Kirton developed the Kirton Adaptive Innovation Inventory (KAI) as a profiling tool to measure problem-solving styles. The general characteristics of innovators are as follows:
* Ingenious, original, independent, unconventional
* Challenges problem definition
* Does things differently
* Discovers problems and avenues for their solutions
* Manipulates problems by questioning existing assumptions
* Is a catalyst to
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A team of “usual suspects”, experts in their field driven by past successes, may be able to take a product or service to the next level and create an incremental benefit. However, to create true ground-breaking “disruptive technology”, the process must start from a blank slate.
Once the Innovation champion assembles a team of diverse people from all levels and business backgrounds, it is key to establish trust. Only an environment that allows openness and risk-taking can produce favorable results. With the right amount of patience and shepherding, the Innovation leader can break down barriers and guide the conversation to allow for everybody’s input.
Here are some tips for the Innovation leader: 1. Trust people before they earn your precious trust; and not make your trust contingent upon proving loyalty to your ideas alone. 2. Devise a way to create a “safe haven” environment to coax the best out of the quieter members of the group; there will be those who have great ideas but will be reticent about piping up. 3. Open dialogues and collaborative relationships with local business groups, suppliers, customers, and universities.
Democratization cuts across traditional methods and produces an environment ripe for Innovation. For more tips, *see “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival.” 0 0share0share0share0shareNew
Tags: innovation, innovation champion, innovation democratization, NEW

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